10 spring marathons in Canada
Ready to hit the ground running as soon as the snow melts?
Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon, May 12
The Fredericton Marathon in the New Brunswick capital changed its course last year for its 40th anniversary, turns out it worked out pretty well, and the scenic crossing of the Westmorland Street Bridge will return again in 2019. Last year, Jean-Marc Doiron won the men’s race, setting a course record of 2:33:45. So, good luck to ya!
Perfect after-race treat: Lobster rolls at the Tipsy Tail overlooking the Fredericton wharf.
Perfect soundtrack: Gotta love some Matt Anderson.
Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon, June 9
Known as ‘the people’s marathon’, the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon event offers up six running events and you'll pass by all of Halifax's points of attraction, including Citadel Hill.
Perfect after-race treat: An authentic Halifax donair from Johnny K’s Authentic Donair.
Perfect soundtrack: Great Big Sea all the time.
Marathon SSQ de Longueuil, May 19
The urban marathon is flat and fast. The atmosphere is family-oriented and fun with plenty of activities, and a delicious meal is served to each participant. Can’t miss with this one.
Perfect post-race treat: You know you want those St. Viateur bagels.
Perfect playlist addition: Arcade Fire
Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, May 26
The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is a massive event in Canada, the biggest running race going. And, it is the only running event in North America, and the second in the world, to host two International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) Gold label events: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and the Ottawa 10K.
Perfect after-race treat: Hit up the Shawarma Palace.
Perfect soundtrack: You Oughta Know we’d suggest a little Alanis Morissette.
Waterloo Marathon, April 28
Picturesque Full and Half Marathon courses wind through rural Mennonite country. The courses are certiﬁed by the Athletics Canada/IAAF/USATF, and the Waterloo Marathon is a Boston Marathon Qualifier. Race weekend also includes the annual Ed Whitlock Half Marathon.
Perfect post-race treat: Hit up The Fritter Co., in the St. Jacobs Farmers Market on the way out of town.
Perfect playlist addition: ABBA! Ya, you know what we’re talking about.
Toronto Marathon, May 5
Since 1977 the Toronto Marathon has billed itself as that fast, downhill, and scenic run through Canada’s biggest city. Starting at Mel Lastman Square in North York and finishing at Ontario Place, the Marathon winds through many of the City’s great neighbourhoods.
Perfect post-race treat: One (or four) peameal bacon sammies from Carousel Bakery in the St. Lawrence Market.
Perfect playlist addition: Broken Social Scene, ‘cause hipsters run in the big city.
Manitoba Marathon, June 16
Enjoy the optimal runner experience throughout the entirety of the course, which is as flat as they come, with shade being provided in all the right places and then enjoy a big league finish as you cross your own goal line inside the big football stadium.
Perfect post-race treat: Can’t beat the Back to Bison Cheddar Burger on a bannock bun at Feast.
Perfect playlist addition: The Watchmen because classic Canadian indie rock rules baby!
Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, May 26
This race has been voted Alberta's Best Road Race in 2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010 and 2009 for good reason. This is one well-run event with a beautiful course and definitely hits the mark as a destination race. The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon course is certified by AIMS (Association of International Marathons Society) and by Athletics Alberta and can be used as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
Perfect post-race treat: Ye olde Bison Stacker at Dairy Lane.
Perfect playlist addition: Jr. Gone Wild — the original cow punks of Alberta.
Banff Marathon, June 16
The Banff Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K offer one of the planet’s most incredible and beautiful running experiences, all in Canada's first National Park as runners take in the scenery from Vermillion Lakes and the Bow Valley.
Perfect post-race treat: You travelled all this way, might as well hit the Banff Springs Hotel for some authentic Swiss fondue.
Perfect playlist addition: Joni MItchell seems appropriate here.
BMO Vancouver Marathon, May 5
Ranked as one of the top destination marathons in the world, the BMO Vancouver Marathon is a scenic Boston Qualifier that takes runners on a 42.2KM (26.2 miles) adventure past beaches, through natural parks, and along Vancouver’s Seawall. Hard to top this one.
Perfect post-race treat: The Fat Elvis at Eatery Sushi (trust us).
Perfect playlist addition: Spirit of the West all day.